Treatment of Burn Wound Infection Using Ultraviolet Light: A Case Report

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


A 9 year old girl presented to us with complaints of fever and pain in burn wounds with deteriorating health for one month. According to Lund and Broder's chart, burns spanned the posterior trunk (13%), right arm (1.5%), left arm (1.5%), and buttocks (2.5%). The wounds showed improper healing. She had previously underwent split-thickness skin grafting, using skin harvests from thighs and antimicrobial therapy with vancomycin, fluconazole and colomycin with limited clinical improvement. Analgesia was administered. Blood cultures and tissue cultures from the burns indicated polymicrobial wound infection and sepsis, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Despite broad-spectrum antibiotics, fever persisted and condition deteriorated. Antifungals were also administered with no clinical improvement. Eventually another split-thickness skin grafting was done to provide fresh grafts. In due course, ultraviolet light exposure, of wavelength 32-40nm/W/cm(2), was considered for treatment. In prone position, the wounds were exposed to ultraviolet phototherapy 6-8h daily for 8 days. Eventually, wound healing and sepsis improved. Antibiotics were optimized and high protein diet was started. Eventually the wounds showed fresh margins and visible signs of healing. With remarkable clinical improvement and no further fever spikes, the patient was eventually discharged. She was advised to shower regularly, apply bandages with acetic acid. On her last outpatient follow up, 2 weeks after discharge, she was doing well, with no complaints of pain or fever. Examination of burns showed clean wounds, with clear margins and good graft uptake. She did not require any further grafting or surgical procedures thereafter.


The Journal of the American College of Clinical Wound Specialists